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  1. #1

    Default 4 weeks California roadtrip

    Hi fellow travellers :)

    We (4 adults) are planning a 4 week trip in August 2016.

    Main attraction is Yellowstone, so the plan so far is:

    SF to LA via Highway 1. 2 days, with stop at Pismo Beach
    LA. 2 days
    LA to Las Vegas. 1 day
    Las Vegas. 2-3 days
    Las Vegas to Salt Lake City. 1 day.
    Salt Lake City. 1 day
    Salt Lake City to Yellowstone. 1 day.
    Yellowstone. 3-4 days. Maybe more ?

    So about half the vacation spent, and we need to get back too.

    Now, I'm stuck at Yellowstone, and could really need an advise what to see/go next ?
    Something we would like to see too:

    Grand Canyon
    Mount Rushmore (probably not doable)
    Anything else on the way, time permits

    Now, just looking at the map, I just got an idea:
    Maybe, if I can get the other in my group to confirm, we could start at SF, and end in Seattle or vice versa ?
    So also hints on what to see in Seattle and between Seattle and Yellowstone.


    Thanks

    Boost

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Did you ever do the trip you were planning earlier this year? Or the one you planned back in 08?

    If you did either of those trips, then it would seem like you've already spent quite a bit of time in LA, Vegas, San Francisco, and possibly the Grand Canyon, and if that's the case, then that's all the more reason to really take a look at a trip that focuses more on the Northwest.

    3-4 days would be a minimum for Yellowstone, especially if that time includes visiting the Tetons.

    Mount Rushmore certainly could be worked into a 4 week trip, but if that's something you'd like to do, then perhaps you'd be better focusing all of your time on the Rockies and skip California this time. Instead, fly into Denver of Salt Lake City and really focus on Wyoming, South Dakota, Colorado, and Utah. Again, this would take you to places it appears you haven't been before.

    Or the Northwest idea you mentioned could be a very good one too. From Yellowstone you could continue up to Glacier, before heading back to Seattle. and the many great features of the Pacific Northwest like Mount Rainier, Olympic National Park, and Mount St. Helens. There's also the entire Pacific Coast from Washington down to San Francisco - including Redwoods National Park, and the many inland attractions of Southern Oregon and Northern California, like Crater Lake or Lassen National Parks.

    Keep studying those maps, and once you've got a better idea of what sounds good, then we'll be in a better idea of how to help.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Did you ever do the trip you were planning earlier this year? Or the one you planned back in 08?
    Yes, I did both actually :) Very nice trips.
    And in 2010, but that was with a bunch of danish geocachers. Very good trip too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    If you did either of those trips, then it would seem like you've already spent quite a bit of time in LA, Vegas, San Francisco, and possibly the Grand Canyon, and if that's the case, then that's all the more reason to really take a look at a trip that focuses more on the Northwest.
    You are quite right. However this time we will travel with my girlfriend parents.
    They expect me to be some kind of tour guide. And they would like to see these places.
    I have only made one demand, and that is to spend some days in Yellowstone.


    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    3-4 days would be a minimum for Yellowstone, especially if that time includes visiting the Tetons.
    I'll make sure I get at least 4 or 5 days, maybe more when I get the plan finished. :)
    I didn't know about Tetons, but I'll sure check that out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Mount Rushmore certainly could be worked into a 4 week trip, but if that's something you'd like to do, then perhaps you'd be better focusing all of your time on the Rockies and skip California this time. Instead, fly into Denver of Salt Lake City and really focus on Wyoming, South Dakota, Colorado, and Utah. Again, this would take you to places it appears you haven't been before.
    Yeah, you are right. I think that must be the next trip though.
    Canada is on the list too, so this could be combined, next time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Or the Northwest idea you mentioned could be a very good one too. From Yellowstone you could continue up to Glacier, before heading back to Seattle. and the many great features of the Pacific Northwest like Mount Rainier, Olympic National Park, and Mount St. Helens. There's also the entire Pacific Coast from Washington down to San Francisco - including Redwoods National Park, and the many inland attractions of Southern Oregon and Northern California, like Crater Lake or Lassen National Parks.
    Nice! There's something to check out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Keep studying those maps, and once you've got a better idea of what sounds good, then we'll be in a better idea of how to help.
    Thanks so far :)

    I think I will go with start in SF, and home from Seattle.
    Then we got the "right way" down Highway 1, and we have more time in Yellowstone/Seatlle (where I have not been), because we save time not backtracking to SF.


    One more question:

    If they really really want to see Grand Canyon, should I go from LA --> Grand Canyon --> Las Vegas, or LA--> Las Vegas --> Grand Canyon ?
    I haven't been at the Skywalk, so don't now if that is worth it. Or we should go to the South intrance, which is a longer drive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Skywalk is extremely expensive, and they will not let you take any photographs. It is part of the Native American reservation, not part of the National Park. If this were my trip, I'd stick to the National Park.

    Also if this were my trip, I'd go from LA to GCNP to LV. From LA to GCNP is a 10 hour drive in good traffic. GCNP is so much more spectacular! Then GCNP to LV is 4-5 hours. Drive to GC one day, see it the next (don't miss either a sunrise or a sunset), and then drive to LV the next day.

    Donna

  5. #5

    Default

    Hi Donna.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    Skywalk is extremely expensive, and they will not let you take any photographs. It is part of the Native American reservation, not part of the National Park. If this were my trip, I'd stick to the National Park.
    Just what I thought. I'll keep clear of Skywalk.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    Also if this were my trip, I'd go from LA to GCNP to LV. From LA to GCNP is a 10 hour drive in good traffic. GCNP is so much more spectacular! Then GCNP to LV is 4-5 hours. Drive to GC one day, see it the next (don't miss either a sunrise or a sunset), and then drive to LV the next day.

    Donna
    Yeah, sounds reasonable. I have seen a sunset, and didn't wanna miss that.
    I'll try to make it a sunrise this time :)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    I would certainly do the South Rim over the skywalk, however, for your trip, I'd actually give serious consideration to going to the North Rim.

    You'd go LA-Vegas-North Rim-Yellowstone.

    Of course, if you did that, you might as well work Zion and Bryce Canyon into your route!

    Even if you did the South Rim, I'd still go LA to Vegas to the Canyon, and afterward, continue up through Page and into Utah (again, possibly including Zion/Bryce) on your way to Yellowstone. Doing it that way, could actually mean less driving than just doing the Skywalk.

    Donna's advice of going from LA to the Grand Canyon and then back to Vegas is what we usually recommend to people trying to visit those 3 places, but that's because people are typically finishing in Vegas or returning to California. Being that you are continuing north to Yellowstone, going to Vegas first makes more sense for this trip.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default The loop.

    My initial thought was the same as Michael suggested, going first to Vegas and then the south rim and then north through Page to other parks of Utah before heading towards the Tetons and Yellowstone.

    I think I will go with start in SF, and home from Seattle.
    You will possibly face a hefty one way drop off fee on your car rental doing this and you might find the air fares to be more expensive as well. I would consider driving back to SF across the Great basin and into Yosemite NP, which is a real gem of a National park, that's if you can fit it in with the rest of your plans.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Roadtrip Field Reports Forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boost View Post
    Yes, I did both actually :) Very nice trips.
    And in 2010, but that was with a bunch of danish geocachers. Very good trip too.
    Have you spent time reading threads in the roadtrip firle reports forum where members journal their trips for others to read. It helps a great deal to actually read how others coped doing what you want to do.

    And it would be nice to read of your trips as well. You can record this while you are on the road, or after you get back home, and include all of your best pictures. It is nice for us to read and see how members got on with the advice given on this forum.

    We would have loved to have followed and read about your previous trips, and hope you'll share this one with us.

    Lifey

  9. #9

    Default

    Here's a suggested routing that can be altered to suit your tastes in viewing. I made a 4-5 day loop trip out of Las Vegas, but you could leave the loop up by Bryce Canyon and head up to Salt Lake City from there to continue up to Yellowstone. So you drive the first day LA to LV and spend your three days there. Then you could follow (loosely) this routing:

    Leg 1 - LV to GC The bridge over Hoover Dam is now complete, and there is a nice walkway out onto it from the west side.
    Leg 2 - GC to Kanab, Utah (The map with this link shows a detour that has since been removed. You now drive Route 89 all the way to Page.)
    Leg 3 - Kanab to Bryce Canyon - This is where you leave my loop trip and stay either in Bryce Canyon, or at one of the towns nearby, Panguitch, Tropic, or even Cedar City.

    After you have seen Salt Lake City and environs, route yourself up through Montpelier, UT to Jackson, Wyoming. The scenery along that route is great, and you'll be ready to see both Grand Teton NP and the lower half of Yellowstone the following day.

    Harry

  10. #10

    Default

    Thanks for answers so far.

    @Lifemagician:
    I didn't know about those threads. Already found one from Yellowstone.
    Will have to read it a few times.

    @Harry Kline: Thanks for this. I have planned going from Grand Canyon to Page, instead of going all the way to Kanab in one go.


    So far the trip looks like this:
    Start 6. august 2016.
    SF: Take cab from airport to SF. Stay in SF 2-3 days. Go back to airport. Pick-up car.
    SF to Pismo Beach: 1 day. 6 hour drive.

    Pismo Beach to LA via Solvang: 1 day. 4 hour drive.

    LA: 2 days.

    LA to Las Vegas. 1 day. 5 hour drive.

    Las Vegas: 2-3 days

    Las Vegas to Grand Canyon: 1 day. 5 hour drive.
    Go to Page, same day. Another 3 hour drive.

    Page: 1 day. Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend

    Page to Salt Lake City via Bryce Canyon: 1 day. 8 hour drive.

    Salt Lake City. 1 day. What to see ?

    Salt Lake City til Yellowstone: 1 day. 6 hour drive.

    Yellowstone: 4-5 days. How to get around. Where to sleep ?

    Yellowstone til Seattle: 4 days. What to see. Where to stop ?

    Seattle: 2-3 days


    Total: 28 days.
    Drive times is taken from Google Maps. I know I have to add a couple of hours to it.

    I'm in very much doubt about Yellowstone. And have some questions:
    1. As we don't have a "locked" itinerary, we will not know the precise dates we will be at Yellowstone.
    Will it still be possible to get a place to sleep ?

    2. What will be the best route be from Yellowstone to Seattle ? We have 4 days, is that enough ?


    Thanks.

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